The Duchess of Sussex wore Dior for today’s service marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.
A closer look at Meghan and Harry arriving for the service at Westminster Abbey marking the occasion. This is the first time Prince Harry has worn the RAF uniform.
The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles as they arrive at the Abbey.
Here you see the Queen arriving inside the Abbey.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 10, 2018
During today’s service Mark Hunt, a 20-year RAF Engineer Officer reads from “The Birth of the Royal Air Force” by Richard Overy.
The couple leaving the Abbey.
A bit of history about the Royal Air Force. The RAF was a new branch of the British military formed in 1918 when the Royal Naval Air Service was merged with the Royal Flying Corps. Here you see King George V in 1914 as he inspects part of the Royal Flying Corps.
Below, Edward, Prince of Wales [later King Edward VIII]; King George V; Albert, Duke of York [later King George VI] seen in their RAF uniforms, 1935.
The RAF has released a terrific collection of historic photographs showcasing the organization’s London ties; you can view some of them here. Below, one of the photos shows some of the Women’s RAF contingent at the Queen’s coronation parade in 1953.
More about today’s events via Harper’s Bazaar:
The festivities in London include a service at Westminster Abbey followed by a parade of up to 1,300 serving personnel and a celebratory flypast with up to 100 aircraft over Buckingham Palace.
Here you see the royals gathered for the historic flypast at Buckingham Palace.
Some of the renowned Red Arrows.
A lovely photo from James Whatling of HM and the Duchess as they watch the aircraft.
This BBC video offers a terrific look at the aircraft as they flew past the Palace and the Mall.
What a sight!
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) July 10, 2018
There was also a reception at Buckingham Palace, offering an opportunity to meet RAF veterans, serving personnel and their families. Some of those taking part: The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York, and Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Another view of the couple chatting with attendees.
Now for our look at what Meghan wore, beginning with her Dior dress.
Thoughts on Meghan’s look from Edward Barsamian in Vogue:
Elegantly cut to reveal a sliver of skin along the collarbone, the boatneck dress was similar in silhouette to the custom Givenchy gown that Markle wore to walk down the aisle this past May. The dress was gently nipped at the waist and secured with a thin belt, in keeping with the traditional 1950s New Look shape the French house is famous for.
Meghan’s shoes are by Dior. (One way to know: the brand uses a gold star on the sole of the heel at the arch.) The design is similar to the brand’s classic Dior “d-choc” heels.
The d-choc shoe design is based off a classic 1959 shoe design by Roger Vivier, who designed shoes for Christian Dior from 1953 to 1963. One of Mr. Vivier’s most notable creations: he is credited with the invention of the stiletto heel. Below, the designer.
Meghan’s heels have a connection to the Queen that involve Roger Vivier.
Below a 1959 print ad featuring Vivier designs.
The Duchess also carried a Dior bag. It looks similar to this Fall 2017 style discovered by Elizabeth of Meghan’s Fashion. Update: We don’t believe Meghan’s bag has the clasp seen on this bag.
Meghan wore her hair up, with a hat by milliner Stephen Jones.
The Duchess wore her ‘Galanterie de Cartier’ earrings in white gold with diamonds. (Shown below as worn on her wedding day.)
Here is a video from the reception that has a fair amount of video of the couple.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and The Duke of York attend a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force.#RAF100 pic.twitter.com/PBSQGDtcSK
— On Demand News (@ODN) July 10, 2018
UPDATE JULY 12: Dior released this statement regarding Meghan’s dress, bag and shoes. The House says the dress and bag are black.
This should resolve the issue of precisely what color the Duchess was wearing.
Not entirely, at least for the two of us managing the site. We both think Meghan wore a very dark navy, a midnight blue if you will. While we can’t presume to think for the Duchess, it would make sense she wear navy in honor of the RAF’s blue; we also think it unlikely she would wear black to this function. Are we decreeing we know better than Dior, the designers and creators of the pieces worn by the Duchess? Not all. But over all the years Susan K has run What Kate Wore and What Kate’s Kids Wore, and the many years Susan C has observed and worked chronicling royal style, we have been involved in a number of instances where a designer or retailer or PR firm has inadvertently issued incorrect information about an item. It happens. Not often, but it does happen.
We may well be wrong, along with several other royal fashion bloggers who have also said they believe the items were deep navy, despite the news release. It’s likely we’ll never know, barring the inclusion of the garment in a hoped-for future royal fashion exhibit at Kensington Palace or another venue.
- Learn more about the RAF Centenary at the RAF 100 official website here; the RAF website is here; its Facebook page is here, the organization’s Instagram page is here and Twitter feed here
- Read about the RAF 100 Appeal, a fundraising effort that will benefit four major RAF charities:
- The Guardian and The Observer news stories about the new service as published in 1918 may be read here